Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3 Flash Drive Review – Incredible Gaming On A Flash Drive


What? Gaming?

No this is not a joke. There are indeed some gamers who store and play games on external devices. Mind you these have traditionally been on USB 2.0 external hard-drives rather than USB 2.0 thumb drives, but the bandwidth limit is essentially the same.

Games are playable in these conditions because once the base files are downloaded there is very little writing done. Naturally since the read is going to be higher, there is not going to be an issue…that is unless the game(s) require(s) updates and/or server-side downloads. When either of those start to occur, the loading times increase – exponentially so for multiplayer games.

As we have seen from the computational benchmarks, Patriot’s Supersonic Magnum 256GB has some astounding speeds – 2x more in the read department and 30% higher writes than the Western Digital Caviar black (or any high-end 7200RPM drive in fact). Theoretically then, the Magnum should blow the Caviar Black out of the water and yield SSD-like results.

So let us start off with two games that are online multiplayer-based, and require client/server-side handshaking as well as transferring of files – Team Fortress 2 and Battlefield 3.

tf2 demoman

Notes: Time is calculated from the moment Team Fortress 2 is clicked in the Steam game library to the appearance of the class select menu (Message Of The Day – MOTW is disabled) on the server. All settings are set on the highest possible and enhanced with the nVIDIA control panel. The server in question is a 60ms ping UGC Highlander server that forces the download of the payload map Barnblitz (pl_barnblitz_pro_rc2.bsp) in UGC Pro format. The file size is roughly 16MB with no other addons. Also note that none of the devices tested had the map download beforehand, thus all are starting clean; as well, each copy of TF2 is ‘Steam Pipeline’ compatible.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB Team Fortress 2

Before ‘SteamPipe’ was introduced just this month, Source games tended to lollygag when launching. Sometimes they would launch instantly, and other times would take forever. Much of this is due to Steam’s content delivery system, which before was a bit of a hassle because if the client did not pick up on a new update, the game would stay in limbo for a few grueling minutes before finally realizing an aut0matic update had to be downloaded. Not only is this now seamless, but the update content delivery system screams past load times and as you can see produces some astonishing numbers. Gamers can finally stop complaining about 16GB worth of pixelated hats causing long load times.

bf3 bandar desert

Notes: Time is calculated the moment Battlefield3.exe appears in ‘Task Manager’ with Battlefield 3 Premium benefits. All settings are set on the highest possible and enhanced with the nVIDIA control panel. The server is a 44ms ping NCIX gaming server running Bandar Desert in Conquest mode. Bandar Desert is the largest map in Battlefield history, being around five square kilometers large, hence it comes with the game and is not downloaded during server authentication.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 generally takes a while to load, but due to minimal modding servers are not ingested with random add-ons and plug-ins. It still takes the game a really long time to load on mechanical drives; for the Magnum on the other hand, it takes only half as long as the Vertex 3 – and remember that includes USB 3.0-USB3.0 communication overhead. Not too shabby at all!


  1. blank

    Send me that pen drive Les, too bad it isn’t in a metal casing like the Lexar Triton, but you cant have everything.

  2. blank

    Not bad but a 64GB SanDisk Extreme got a 782.95 Anvil score on 100% incompressible setting.

    Look at the SanDisk Extreme 4K scores.Not bad for a flash drive.

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